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Challenge Creates Happiness


I recently heard from one of my regular readers who challenged a premise I made in my most recent post, For Sales: Practice makes perfect. I was thrilled to hear from Bob Terson, who is an accomplished sales guy and author, for two reasons. First, I was happy to know that I actually had a regular reader, and second I love being challenged. I will be discussing more on this later, but first I would like to point out that I agree with Bob, who believes and discusses in his book, Selling Fearlessly, that there are traits like “the gift of gab” and “emotional radar” that go a long way in helping a salesperson succeed.

I said “there is no such thing as a born salesperson” in my blog, but that’s not entirely true.

The ability to be more comfortable than most starting a conversation with a total stranger, (Cold calling), or the ability to read and understand an individual’s state of mind, (Listening skills), give the individual with these innate abilities a major advantage in sales. Bob also tells a story about his brother who was able to succeed in sales through pure hard work and practice despite the fact that he is a musician by trade. Bob’s brother returned to music once he had reached his financial goals through sales. He was clearly a “born musician”. I guess the lesson here is doing what comes naturally might be the best way to go.  

Anyway, regardless of whether you want to be a musician, a salesperson or jet pilot, you have got to challenge yourself if you want to succeed.  I learned this lesson from another Bob. Bob Darling was my first boss. Bob had a hot dog stand in a small town called Wickford near my hometown in Rhode Island.  People would line up every day to get one of the best hot dogs anywhere, and have a few laughs with Bob. What a great job I thought, outside in the fresh air, laughing and having fun with your customers, all the hot dogs you could eat, and by the looks of the line of customers, lots of money to be made.

One day, using my “gift of gab” skills I started a conversation with Bob about how much he worked.  I never went by when he was not there. I wondered to myself if he could use a little time off.  I needed a job; I was fifteen years old and needed to save for a car.  This was my chance; I asked him if he would consider hiring me after school and on weekends.  Amazing what can happen if you just ask.  I got the job!

Bob was a great boss, I worked very hard for him and he took good care of me.  I quickly became known as “the hot dog man” among my high school friends.  I loved my job, the money was good and I was a bit of a celebrity. Life was good. After working the school year, with summer approaching, Bob asked me what my plan was. I did not really have a plan other than to keep working and save for that car. Bob told me, if you want to achieve your goals you have to have a plan and that plan should challenge you to push the limits of your ability.  Why don’t you consider getting your own hot dog stand?  I took his advice and went for it.Sales Success, challenge creates happiness, Paul Alves

I ran “Paul’s Hot Dogs” for the next ten years at the beach in my hometown, funding my entire college education, having lots of fun and making enough money to buy several cars. Since then I have made a habit of challenging myself in everything I do. So far so good.


You are a quick study, my friend. You had me from your first sentence to "So far so good". You informed me, you inspired me, and--here's the best part--you entertained me with a great story. When my wife and I walk out of a theater after a movie I love, my comment to her is always "Storytelling at it's finest"; this was blogging at it's finest. It can't be done any better than this, Paul--congratulations. Write like this and it'll be like Kevin Costner's "Field of Dreams: "They will come."
Posted @ Wednesday, September 21, 2023 7:15 PM by Robert Terson
Thanks so much for reading. You're to kind!
Posted @ Wednesday, September 28, 2023 3:33 PM by Paul Alvesw
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